I think we posted a wee article about a month back on our thinking that free WiFi provision should be a minimum standard these days. Our Google Alerts flagged up a new broadband package from WiFi Ecosse, which is being launched in a bid to substantially increase the availability of wireless Internet hotspots in Scotland.
This new package offers a simple, cost-effective turnkey solution that enables small to medium-sized venues such as hotels, bars, cafes and conference facilities to offer wireless internet access for their visitors.
With only around 300 public hotspots currently available in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and fewer than 500 across Scotland, the article states that the package taps into the growing demand for cost-effective, rapid Internet access in Scotland.
Included in the service is an ADSL connection and a broadband WiFi Access Point with a hosted platform to enable subscriber control, managing either voucher or credit-card based guest access. The wireless router is pre-configured and simply requires plugging into a venue's broadband line.
WiFi Ecosse designed the system with the express purpose of eliminating the need for extensive knowledge of the systems involved in delivering wireless hotspots, removing the usual set-up and maintenance headaches associated with the technology. The pre-configured Access Point simply allows any guests to connect to the open wireless network, where they are directed to a voucher or credit-card processing page.
A further benefit for venues buying into our WiFi initiative is that it can be provided as a chargeable service called a PublicZone, providing venues with an additional revenue stream, or on a free, but controlled Internet access basis as a value added feature, called a GuestZone.
This gives venues some flexibility over how WiFi is implemented, and as user demand continues we believe a package offering a simple set-up at a competitive price with free marketing material and user-support makes sense for small to medium sized businesses, and will significantly boost the number of hotspots in Scotland.
Orocco Pier in Edinburgh has been quick to embrace the wireless technology as owner Peter Wilson explains:
"The internet has come a long way over the last few years, and increasingly we are finding our visitors in the restaurant and bar as well as our guests using the accommodation requesting access to broadband for business and leisure purposes. Wifi Ecosse is effectively plug-and-play which has made it incredibly easy to set up and we expect demand for the service to soar over the coming months."
Tony Mercer, Head of Quality and Standards at VisitScotland said, "In an ever-more competitive and sophisticated market place, Scotland must be at the forefront in providing for, and in anticipating, our customers needs. At the same time, people here in Scotland are working increasingly hard, but spending more and more on leisure time activities. Access to thousands more Wi-Fi hotspots fits perfectly with vistors’ and Scots’ lifestyles and expectations. Bars, cafes, B&Bs, hotels, restaurants - all are integral parts of the Scottish tourism experience, and to compete we must only provide exactly what our customers want, when they want it. Now even the smallest of these businesses can provide access to the world, which can only enhance Scotland’s reputation as a must-visit destination.”
Further details of the new package can be found at www.wifiecosse.net